Employee Spotlight: Greg Perl

First, Greg is the best superintendent I’ve had the opportunity to work with in my career this far.  Some supers can push a schedule but miss all the details, some pick up all the small things but can’t keep the project moving.  Few supers can effectively do both.  Greg is one of these few.  Second, he has successfully manned the helm of our largest project through the worst problems our industry has seen in recent years: Covid 19, massive manpower shortage, insane material price increases, and unpredictable supply chain issues.

Trust: O’Brien has trusted Greg to run our single largest project for the last 3 years.  Skyview is the 2nd iteration of a previous project and often feels like its own little island far away from the shores of Obrien.  Greg has maintained his trust that we are supporting and working with him even though our company’s resources are 7 hours away.  Collaboration: A project this large requires massive collaboration to be successful.  Greg has done a great job of collaborating with the owner, architect, engineers, Harper’s Ridge (first iteration), management company, city officials, fire dept, etc. to keep things moving successfully.  Innovation: Sometimes work demands so much of our lives that it seems there is no time or room to learn and grow.  Greg has pushed himself to utilize every tool we have available, while shouldering more responsibility with fewer resources than anyone else I have met in this company to date.

Greg has talked about moving on to project management and I believe this is a realistic possibility.  Regardless of his position in O’Brien, I see us being able to capitalize on his many years of construction experience to better ourselves, our teams, and our company.

— Dave Deardorff, Project Manager
Photo of Greg Perl
Greg Perl, Superintendent

Q&A with Greg

A mentor of mine who owned a construction company doing large multifamily subdivisions talked me into the industry. I was a ship loading superintendent supervising large longshore crews and multinational ship crews.  I grew up in a ship scrapping yard and that gave me a large landscape of different experiences in heavy industry. It seemed a good fit and my friend said “Son if you can handle longshoremen then you can handle the trades.” So, I switched . The added bonus was where ships run on a 24-hour day most of construction works an 8-to-12-hour day.

Figuring out solutions to problems either mechanical or humanistic. I love the circle of relationships we build in the industry.

There was a multifamily subdivision in West Linn Oregon that was going to litigation due to unkept promises by both the field personnel and the company. I was able to put it back on track as the superintendent. This was by repairing the relationship with the community owners and the city. We didn’t give the store away but met and negotiated promises and issues to the satisfaction of the owners. We diverted legal action.

Airway Heights in central Washington. Keely and Chris Mallet brought me on to do a multifamily project in Washington. They told me the weather was mild, it was a short job, all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.

During good weather a public park in the center of town with a fountain. It is great place to read, lunch, watch and listen to children play. No matter how large the issues of the world parks are always their own time zone.

My other spot is a local grill I always drove by blowing it off thinking it was a grandma, grampa hokey deal. Being a downtown Portland food snob. I did that for a year until I went there with David Deardorff. Oh man was I wrong. It is fantastic. Best French toast this side of the Mississippi . That wasted year probably saved me ten pounds.

I have learned that I can be an open book . Be a team member without an ego and put my cards on the table, right or wrong. As Keeley has said, did we learn from this?

Getting enough buildings across the line for the owner of the Skyview project to relieve some his financial pressure. Hopefully reducing some stress on us.

Reach out to Carol. We have a resource now, so you don’t have to struggle figuring out information platform issues. That and each and every time take a picture of your receipts, so much easier.